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5 Rules For Future Cops

5 Rules For Future Cops

Andrew G. Hawkes

Growing up, I would always stand in awe and stare every time I saw a police officer. Whether at the mall with my parents, or seeing a squad car driving down the road, Police officers were my heroes. That dark blue uniform, with that shiny badge glistening in the sunlight displayed authority to me, it portrayed the “good guys”, that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.

20 years has now passed since I first pinned on my badge, and I can tell you that I have met several young people that had the same hopes and dreams that I had as a youngster. But, unfortunately, some of them have made poor decisions in their late teen and early 20’s years that have made it difficult for them to fulfill their dream of becoming a cop.

No one says you have to wear a halo or be perfect to be a cop, but there are some things that may hinder you in your quest to become a law enforcement officer. Below are 5 tips to help you stay the course, especially in your post high school and college years.

1. Alcohol and Drugs

If they are illegal, don’t do them, period. Resist any temptation from peers. If you are at a party or in a social setting where there is a potential to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, then leave. This “Can I Be a Cop If…” questionnaire might be of help if you have concerns.

2. Try to work towards a college degree

Most states require police officers to be 21 years of age. If you decide in high school that you want to become a police officer, you have three years to wait anyway, you should be getting as many college credits as you can while you wait.

3. Keep your credit score in good shape

It is hard to resist credit card offers, especially in today’s economy when money is tight, but do not get yourself in debt that you simply cannot repay. This will destroy your credit score and your application. Police agencies will see this as irresponsible. If you cannot manage your own affairs it makes it hard for a police department to trust you with theirs.

Next Page: Is your online reputation
going to catch up with you?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago

    wow...some of the posts on this a confessional?

  • Phone_069_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Talking about social networking sites I have Facebook and Twitter. I am extremely cautious about what I post on these sites, and I realize that positive posts and twits can do wonders when it comes to the backg. investig. My backg. investig. in Texas told me, "You have two options at this point in the backg. interview. Log me into your Facebook/ Myspace/ and Twitter accounts or you shall be disqualified from the hiring process!" Obviously, I logged my investigator into my accounts and he asked me several questions about pictures of current and ex- girlfriends on my facebook. When it was all said and done I realized that a clean profile with positive status updates can make an enormous difference in your favor.

  • Lawenficon_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Our department weeds people out left and right for facebook and other social networking sites. It seems that applicants thing that if it's on the internet, it doesn't count. Believe me, it all counts. Just one point of view from an old cop.

  • P1010076_max50


    about 5 years ago


    >>IL_Soccer_Grad said:
    >>Good info. but also common knowledge

    Common knowledge ain't so common though, eh?

    Are there any other tips other LEO's would like to share?

  • Sany0182_max50


    about 5 years ago


    i am overly cautious but i dont regret it a bit.being a LEO is my dream for life, and doing this bad stuff only lasts a while, so i live my life by these rules! i'm also a type 1 diabetic, so i know i have to bring more to the table than others if i want to protect and serve.this was a great piece!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago

    reading the

  • Jack-sparrow-pirates-of-the-caribbean_max50


    about 5 years ago


    I've been around people smoking pot but never smoked it my self. i have consumed alcohol underage when I was 18 and won't anymore:). I have no credit card, only my friends can view my facebook, and I got one traffic ticket when I was 16 for running a red light.
    I think the number 1 things I really need to work on right now is my confidence and school work. I am passing in college right now but I know I can do much better.
    Currently enrolled in DMACC for a 2 year CRJ degree, but If no police department is hiring I may go for a 4 year degree or apply at the nearby county jail and gain experience there.

  • Justice-400_max50


    about 5 years ago


    1) No drug history. Drank before 21 but more of a beer with dinner guy now. 2) Graduated in March. 3) 737. 4) Full privacy settings. 5) Clean record. I'm more concerned about my background.

  • Christmas_picture_1_max50


    about 5 years ago


    I'm following these rules, and pursuing a 4 year degree. I don't have a credit card, and pay my loans on time. I stay out of trouble, but I feel my cautions have impacted my social life slightly. I just ask myself before I do anything stupid, "Will this look good on an application?" Most the time the answer is no.

  • Dove_max50


    about 5 years ago


    Thank you for writing this because for all of my high school life, I have avoided these things. And other students and even a few of my friends can't comprehend why I am so worried about the future and this just let me know that I'm not being overly cautious like so many have told me and I'm not 'wasting my youth' as one of my 'friends' so graciously put it.

  • Zone_bodylift_002_max50


    about 5 years ago


    I am going to a 2 year course at Everest Collage for a assosiates degree in Criminal justice to become a LEO

  • Guitar2_max50


    about 5 years ago


    I have no credit and I have been told this is a bad thing. I really hope it does not get in the way of my becoming a police officer because I really want to become one.

  • 9_11_01_max600_max50


    about 5 years ago


    i would say my credit is in good shape but i do have points on my drivers liscence, they are suposed to 'go away' in a year or so, i hope that in a few years my credit will be better and be able to prove to the department that i made a stupid mistake, ackowledge it and took full responsibility for my actions and payed my debt to society

  • N1389020413_9325_max50


    about 5 years ago


    I have one strike against me- bad credit! I really need to try and work on that. I didn't realize how bad it could impact my future.

  • 100_20063_max50


    about 5 years ago


    great info something all young people wanting to become a leo should read

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